Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cole video ...

I had to share this video of Cole attacking the balloons at Gram and Poppy's house.  Jenn sent this video to me one weekend while the boys were at their house.  It cracks me up - and just says so much about Cole.  I love this kid :-)  Cole is ALWAYS ready to "kung fu panda" or sword fight ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!

Daddy LOVE ...

I may have written this already (I know I've said it to numerous people), but I hate to use the word easy and deployment in the same sentence, but compared to the other 2 deployments, this one has been "easy" (again, if that word can even be used).  I say that because our communication has been pretty amazing.  The past 2 deployments, I could go days and weeks (especially the first one) w/o hearing from him - and definitely had no way of actually really getting a hold of him.  BUT this deployment ... since he has more of a "desk job," our communication is pretty great.  I can e-mail him and know that he will be reading it shortly thereafter.  Again, compared to what I've been used to - that is just simply amazing - and it makes me appreciate technology all the more!!  I haven't had those moments where I miss a text from him and just want to cry, b/c it could be days/weeks before I hear from him again ... during this deployment, I pretty much know I'll hear from him tomorrow.  Texting has been our best way of communication.  We try and FaceTime about once a week or so for the boys, but we get disconnected so much that it tends to be pretty frustrating for everyone - but it's good for the boys to be able to talk to him and "see" him, too, of course!  Here is some Daddy love for the month of April that I thought I'd share ....

The ending to one of our text conversations before he went to bed.  Did I mention technology is just amazing?!  Amazing, amazing, amazing :-)  

Jake and Chris making silly faces at each other over FaceTime :-)  The boys really miss Daddy, but especially Jake - because he's at that age where he's old enough to understand he's in Afghanistan - but still young enough to be a little confused by it all (and by how LONG it has been).  He often talks about how he dreamt about playing football or baseball with Daddy ... and he frequently asks when he is coming home - and why he has been gone so long.  All in all, though - Jake has adjusted so well.  Obviously, I can't give myself all the credit - being around family has played such  HUGE part in this - and I couldn't say enough how grateful I am for all the attention shown to both of the boys - especially during this season in life.

Making monster faces at Daddy :-)

We made Daddy paper HUGS and sent them to him :-)  We traced their hands .... then measured their arm lengths (like they were giving him a hug) and tied string from one hand to the next :-)  Voila - paper hug!  Don't think I came up with this idea on my own, though ... it's from a book.  The book is creatively called PAPER HUG. :-)

Letters from Daddy in the MAIL.  HUGE HIT!!!!!!

As you can see, Jake is still clutching the letter a while after we had opened them....

And reading it still ....

And here they are opening the letters :-)

Chris is doing well ... staying busy ... working long hours ... and we've actually received some really great news.  Can't go into much on the blog - but just know how thankful we are for ALL of the people out there that have been praying for him (and us) during this deployment.  It means more to us than you could possibly know.  More details to come later ... :-)

More of SOCCER

April has been the month for Soccer.  Every Saturday morning, Jake has soccer practice/games.  I really like how Spotsylvania County does their 4 year old soccer program.  They work with a group of Massaponax High School Soccer players - and they spend the first part doing drills, etc., and then break up into small teams for a game.  I think it's so organized - and they actually learn the skills of the game ... it's not just a "free for all", which is important at this age, I think.  With all that being said, the verdict is still out with whether Jake really LIKES playing - but he is getting better and better each week, so I feel the more he learns, the more he enjoys it!  Here are some pictures (and videos) from soccer so far this month.
Silly boy getting ready for soccer.  

Showing his muscles for Daddy ....

He actually wasn't feeling too great this Saturday morning (allergies have about killed us in this household this spring.  I think between Jake and Cole and fevers and Dr. appts., they have both had double ear infections - and we've been to the pediatrician about 7-8 times between the 2 of them).

He's center-right :-)

Directly in the center .... #12!

This was the Saturday he wasn't feeling good - and he passed out the second we got in the car :-)

He has the red shorts on ...

Pretty much in the center (in the red shorts)

Running back on the field after a gatorade break...

Standing up in the back ... They were learning how to play goalie.

Here are some soccer videos ....


Jake and Cole are getting pretty excited about being Big Brothers to baby Chase.  Well, with kind of depends on the day - but Jake is so excited that he is "coming in the numbers in May" :-)  I was trying to get them to take a picture in their new Big Brother shirts the other day ... and I partially succeeded.  This first picture, though, tells so much about their individual personalities.  I love it.  I can't wait to add Chase to the mix.  It's going to be SO FUN!!  I'm just so so so so excited!!!  

April Happenings ...

It's a little obvious from my lack of blogging that not only have we been keeping busy - but blogging hasn't been as much of a priority the past few months ... just so much going on.  I'd like to say I'm going to get better ... but I guess we'll have to see if I really DO get better with baby Chase about to be here :-)  One of my MAIN projects before Chase gets here was for me to get caught up on pictures and photo books.  I was about a year behind, but I'm happy to report, I am COMPLETELY caught up - so exciting! Now that I'm caught up there, I can concentrate a little more on blogging :-) 
Things are good, though.  We are staying busy, which is helping time just hurry on by.  It seems like a long time since I've seen Chris, but the day to day/week to week is cruising on by.  I can't believe May is 2 days away!  Busy is always good, SO here is a little of what we've been up to this month.  In addition, the boys spend every other weekend with Gram and Poppy and Aunt Katy, Aunt Becky, and Aunt Jenn, so they've been doing lots of fun things there, too.  The boys are missing Daddy ... but LOVING life and all the attention these days!  

We went to the National Zoo in DC with our friends the Leporatis.  Gina was our neighbor growing up on Toluca Road, so it was fun to get to spend a day with them!  Unfortunately, Mom was sick, so she wasn't able to go with us.  It was a beautiful day!  I didn't get too many pictures, b/c it was just so crowded (it was over Easter weekend), but here are just a couple.  
The kids are feeling what Tiger skin feels like .... 

Here we all are at the end of a FUN day at the Zoo :-)

I feel like they are getting SO tall :-)

If anyone has the iPhone4, you are familiar with Siri.  For those of you who don't know, Siri is a "program/woman" on the phone who gives you verbal answers to your verbal questions.  One night, the cable and internet was out, so Mom, Dad, and I were having fun with my iPhone - and asking Siri all sorts of questions - and she was giving us answers.  Here are a couple.  It was actually quite hilarious - all of it.

Cole is starting to really enjoy - and get really good at working puzzles, so we do LOTS and lots of puzzles these days.  This is a matching puzzle that he was working hard at :-)

Buzz and Woody :-)

Love this big boy!!  Is that the sweetest smile - or what?!

I think I was 32/33 weeks in this picture.  I'm totally losing track.

Lots and lots of Angry Birds .... Jake is learning to build it himself, too - and getting pretty good.

Practicing soccer one afternoon w/ Papa Dee.

Jake and Papa Dee as Cowboys :-)

Marine Corps Playground picnic with "Miss" Valerie, Elise, and James one BEAUTIFUL, hot afternoon.

They LOVE to swing - especially Jake.

Attempting a "group picture" :-)

Cole getting a haircut.  He's such a BIG BOY ... He hopped right on up there - and loved it :-)

Doesn't get much more precious!!!

So, Jake tends to be Papa Dee's shadow (and Poppy's shadow at his house).  One day, my Dad was on the phone - and I noticed Jake sitting right next to him, talking on his "pretend" phone - and Jake was literally repeating EVERYTHING my Dad was saying.  It was pretty hysterical.  You always know that where Papa Dee is, Jake won't be too far behind (and like I said, the very same with Poppy)!

Getting a picture to try to send to Daddy :-)

Chef Jake :-)

Building "things" at his work bench at Gram and Poppy's house ...

Cuteness ....

Silliness ....

Playing together :-)  It was so sweet for the 3 minutes that it lasted - ha!

Jake and Cole's first trip to Mike's American Grill.  YUM!!!!!!

Jake's new haircut.  He went with Poppy :-)  So so handsome!!  I always feel the boys look so much older when they get their haircut!

Helping Poppy fix the railing ....

Cow face made at school :-)

Marine Corps Playground picnic one evening with Aunt Jenn, Aunt Becky, and Aunt Katy.  I love picnic nights ... and I love this picture ... and I love all of them!!!

And of course SILLY FACES have to be involved!!

Helping Poppy remove the liner in Daddy's truck, so a new liner can be installed :-)

Jake and Cole wearing Daddy's Auburn Tiger hats, while riding in his truck with Poppy ... They are going to be so excited when Daddy gets home!!!

As you can see .... very BUSY ... but having SO MUCH FUN!!!